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Vertical Forest: A New Take on Urban Design

The Vertical Forest is a model for a sustainable, residential building and a project for metropolitan reforestation contributing to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity.

With increasing numbers of people opting for city, apartment living over suburban family homes, designers are having to get creative about how they can inject greenery into their designs. The move to be more environmentally conscious has driven the increase in sustainable design, along with the desire for more greenery in the home.



In line with this, when Milan Design Office, Boeri Studio were tasked with developing two residential sky-scraping towers in the centre of the Italian city, they came up with a Vertical Forest. It was the idea of lead architect on the project Stefano Boeri, to create the ‘Bosco Verticale’. The concept allowed the to maximise the inner city land for residential use, without sacrificing beauty normally reserved for more rural locations.



The expertly designed towers stand at 110 metres and 76 metres, and are home to 800 trees and over 15,000 plants. This idea of a living façade means the exterior design is constantly evolving. Designers will have considered every seasonal colour change to offer Milan’s residents a well thought out, ever-changing view of the cityscape.

Arup, the engineering firm working on the project had this to say on ‘Bosco Verticale’:

“The project is set to create a new standard for sustainable housing”

While the Boeri Studio itself stated:

“This is a kind of biological architecture that refuses to adopt a strictly technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability”



The Architects and Designers of the Vertical Forest, consulted with a team of botanists to ensure the design of the buildings wouldn’t be affected by the sun’s positioning on some of the plants. They carefully selected plant types that would thrive in their given position. The diverse vegetation will provide urban habitats for birds and insects too, and will create a humid micro-climate that produces oxygen whilst shading residences from harsh sunlight.


*Images sourced via Boeri Studio and Dezeen.

The Vertical Forest’s micro-climate will also filter dust particles which are present in the urban environment, whilst the diversity of the plants absorb CO, produce oxygen and protect people and houses from harmful pollution.

What do you think of this extremely clever build? Do you always consider sustainability in your designs?

Thanks for reading!

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